May 31, 2014

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He loves his big sis!

  • Two things that I have forgotten to mention lately-the last time we played kickball, which must have been months ago because of this crazy rain, Anderson had just kicked the ball and Robby fielded it and threw it to me.  I was near first base and moved my foot over to reach and grab him but when I moved my foot, all I did was trip the child.  He ran right over my leg falling flat on his belly and face and knocked my legs out from under me and I spun around in the air as I also fell.  We were both fine though his ego was a bit bruised that I also managed to tag him out!
  • And yesterday at McDonalds, Whitman was out of his highchair playing, Keaton and Campbell were close behind him taking care of him.  There was a little boy, probably younger than Keaton, who wanted to hug Whitman and pat his back.  Keaton was having none of this and kept yelling "my baby, that's my baby."  She was adamant that no one touch her brother except her and her sister.
  • Now to today-it has been just a rainy Saturday.  The poor tree house man wasn't back today-the kids enjoy watching him work and I have enjoyed watching him run and cover his tools and climb in his truck each time that it starts pouring which has been just about hourly lately.  So we didn't have that to watch.  But we did have cinnamon rolls  to eat this morning along with the kids individual yogurt cups that we bought last night at the store-that is a splurge for us.  Graham didn't like his (I think his "strawberry" flavor was really "strawberry pomegranate") so Whitman was able to eat the rest of us and Reagan, who never likes yogurt but always tries a new flavor when we do get the yogurt cups, didn't like her so I had it.
  • The kids played with my keyboard from when I was little while Robby worked on recaulking some of our shower-of course that meant taking the old caulk off, cleaning it, cleaning it again (I did the second cleaning and was there for moral support during the first cleaning), drying it and then later in the day recaulking it.  Exciting, exciting!  
  • We did take a break in all of this to make chili and go to Bass Pro.  The kids hadn't been in a long while and they loved seeing the animals and we even "took a walk" down the Bass Pro sidewalk on our way back to the car.  By the time we made it home, we were all hungry and most of our bowls of chili were eaten.  So then it was naptime for Keaton and Whitman,
  • Yesterday when naptime was just about over, Campbell and I were in the kitchen.  I had just told her that soon we would have to wake Keaton and Whitman up.  A minute later, Campbell who was busy working on trimming her grass from school said "let's not get Keaton and Whitman up now."  And then we heard Keaton's voice from the top of the stairs saying "You no get me, I here."  That booger had gotten herself out of bed, turned her fan off and at some point climbed into the top bunks.  She told me that she had slept in Graham's bed during nap but I am not too sure about that.  So this afternoon, I had just returned downstairs from putting her in bed and I felt something brush against me arm as I sat on the couch-Keaton.  I immediately started saying "no ma'am" and taking her back upstairs.  Let's just say that she was not happy with me at all but she did finally calm down and slept all during nap time and this time she called us to come and get her out of bed.  
  • We were fairly lazy during naptime around here but when it was wake up time, all of the girls busily packed for their evening outing.  All of them packed except for Campbell-she had packed her bag earlier in the week when she thought she was going to get to spend the night with Nonna and Pops but now my grandmother is in the hospital so that won't happen for a few days.  So she was beyond thrilled when she got to go to Lilly's house for the night.  And my boys happily cleaned up the toy room so Cash and them could have plenty of room to play tonight.  Poor Dana, she ended up with 3 of my kids and I just have one of hers-not a fair trade at all!  I haven't seen my boys since we came home-they have been upstairs playing happily (mostly) all evening.
  • After dropping the girls off, we stopped at Krispy Kreme for a snack and then home to play.  It is almost 9 and Robby is offering the boys something to eat before bed-Graham said he wanted chili and Cash and Anderson just want milk-they must have filled up on doughnuts.

May 30, 2014

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Helpful Helpers!

  • Again this morning, chores were being done by Graham right at 7.  I do not know where he gets his obsession to mark things off of his to-do list.  Ha!  Just kidding, I know exactly where he gets it-from me.  I even write things on my list just so I can immediately mark them off.  I think we are going to have to make the kids not do chores until after breakfast time-that is probably not a rule in most people's houses.
  • After breakfast, my Keaton and Campbell emptied the dishwasher-they were the cutest things ever.  Keaton would take a plate out and hand it to Campbell who would then put it on the counter. They would do this for each and every item in our crammed full dishwasher.
  • Soon everyone was up and Keaton was asking non-stop if "it was almost eat time" and Campbell was begging to go and wake up Whitman.  My answer just about every morning is after my shower and today was no different.  We were all sad to see Robby go to work this morning and more sad to see the rain again today-I was also constantly asked if we were going to get to go to the pool this afternoon.
  • This morning also seemed like it lasted forever.  I had the kids work on a project in the school room, Campbell and I practiced her reading book, I was able to file in the school room some and the house was fairly picked up.  It was a pretty good morning and after lunch the sun came out.
  • All during our afternoon activities the kids were notifying me of the weather-the sun shining, the sun not shining, rain, no rain-and each time I was notified, I was asked if we were going to get to go swimming.  My answer consistently was that I did not know.  A bit after Robby came home, it started pouring and even the kids knew then that swimming again was not an evening option.
  • We needed something exciting to do this evening so we went to McDonalds-thrilling huh?  The kids loved playing and practically took over the tubes there.  After we ate, even Whitman got in on the act and was able to play.
  • After the kids had their exciting activity, it was our turn-the grocery store.  We bought quite a bit which is surprising because the kids acted like maniacs in the store.  Oh, they probably weren't that bad but seriously, I wouldn't hesitate to take them to any restaurant but the grocery store behavior needs lots of work!
  • Once at home, we had the kids stay in the car and watch a movie while we quickly emptied the groceries.  Then the kids changed into their pjs and helped me finish putting up the inside in the house groceries.  And right before bed, I even let the kids have a cookie that I had made earlier in the day.
  • Then it was time for bed and during our Bible story, my Campbell fell out of her bed.  Seriously, how do you fall out of bed when you are laying still listening to a story?  As soon as she fell out, she looked at Robby and I who were glaring at her and she said "what?"  I silently laughed at my special Campbell for the rest of the Bible story.  

May 29, 2014

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The next Picasa

  • I think this might have been our first true summer day that we haven't had anything else to do.  It was fairly odd to me-I was almost a bit bored.  Robby didn't run first thing in the morning so the kids hung out in our room for a while.  As we were laying there, we heard someone emptying the dishwasher.  My Graham was already on top of his list and before I got myself out of bed, he had finished his chores and was working on his summer school work.
  • The other kids were not too far behind him.  We had pancakes and waffles for breakfast and then the kids finished working on their lists.  Campbell cleaned most of the kitchen chairs-I don't know if your chairs are like mine but they get so sticky.  Keaton helped with the chairs that Campbell didn't clean.  I know my chairs are not perfectly clean now but I was just hoping that they would be a little bit less sticky.
  • The kids all read and I helped Campbell with her reading book and soon afterwards, Campbell and Keaton painted.  Since things were fairly calm (except for Whitman who continuously grabs my broom, trash bags, the empty syrup bottle from the trash, my pots and pans and anything glass that he can get his hands on over and over while I am in the kitchen) I decided to make some bread (a new recipe) but once I had all the ingredients out I discovered I didn't have eggs.  So I decided to make another type of bread but that needed eggs too.  
  • I decided to cut all of the kids fingernails and even painted the little girls nails.  Our to do list was growing shorter so I worked some in the school room filing papers in the file cabinet.  I still have more of that to do tomorrow but quit because Whitman, Campbell and Keaton insisted on playing in the closet where I was trying to file papers-and that was just too many helpers.  When I left the school room, I looked at the clock and couldn't believe that it was not yet 10-I think this was the longest morning ever!
  • At 10, I put Whitman in bed for his nap and then started a game of Math Uno with the kids.  Anderson didn't play because he was too busy playing upstairs but he did come down eventually and took over my spot.  I was busy helping Keaton who quickly loses interest but still wants to play and Campbell also needs help staying on task.  Graham was the winner and he has won every single time that we have played that game-I have no idea why that has happened!
  • I did my treadmill time and when I was finished, Robby was finishing up making lunch for the crew-I just love his work from home days.  After lunch, the kids played while we tried to figure out a supper menu and grocery list.  Around 1, Keaton started crying because she wanted to go to bed-nap time is usually at 2 but who am I to deny her an early naptime?  Of course that meant that Whitman was sent to bed too (we are sure not going to have two different nap times happening-that doesn't help anyone)
  • During their naps, we worked on going through more of Robby's clothes-2 full laundry baskets to the garage sale pile and another full laundry basket to the trash bin.  Don't worry, he still has plenty of clothes to wear but when it is garage sale time, someone who is the right size will be in luck.
  • It had rained off and on all day long-this absolutely drove the kids crazy because they were anxiously awaiting our answer to if we were going to get to go swimming tonight.  When we were loading up to go swimming, Dana called saying that it was raining at the pool.  We said we were still coming and just a few minutes later, she text saying that the pool was closed and we said we were still coming!  We had hot dogs for supper and just went to her house.  The kids all ate their hot dogs and then they played in the front and my little ones enjoyed walking the dog up and down the street.  
  • We had thought about going to the grocery store on our way home but decided that we were not that crazy-trying to take 6 kids swimming on a rainy 60 degree evening is a bit strange but taking 6 kids grocery shopping is just mad so we hightailed it home and put those kids to bed...after a snack, a Bible story movie, teeth brushing and a Bible story.

May 28, 2014

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Good Morning Arkansas appearance!

(click here to view the GMRA video segment)
  • At 6:45 this morning, I heard a loud "ker-plunk" above my head.  By the "ker-plunk" I knew that it was Keaton throwing herself out of her bed.  From the chaos that ensued, I could tell that she finally found a place to stay in Reagan's bed.  I told them that they could get up and soon there were many "ker-plunks" as all of their feet hit the floor.  
  • Today was a big day here at the Dennie house-pop tart day...and being on a live tv show.  Dana had been mentioning that this day was coming and I tried to ignore and forget about it all that I could.  The more I thought about it, the more I wanted to absolutely throw up (or that could have been from the large shake I had last night)  
  • By 8, we were all dressed and drove to Baptist to pick up Dana and then downtown to pick up Robby.  Then we drove to the studio and sat in the car for a few minutes while waiting on our turn.  We stayed in the car for as long as we could and then we walked around for a bit while waiting on our call to enter the studio.  The studio was a bit small so they waited until almost our time for us to come in.
  • The kids were all in their Sunday clothes and looked pretty nice.  We had talked about the importance of doing the right thing, sitting up straight and I do believe that the listened to us (this time)  When it was time to go into the studio, the kids all marched in and sat right down on the couch.  I was mic-ed and we sat on the couch during the segment before us.  The kids sat perfectly still during this segment-including Whitman.  
  • Then there was a short commercial break and it was our turn.  Here is a run down of everyone-my Anderson is not a smiler and has never been.  So he didn't smile much today but intently took everything in that was happening.  Next was Graham who happily grinned the entire time.  Robby was back pretty far but the one child that he could see perfectly was Graham...and Graham could see him too which probably helped with his sitting still and grin.  
  • Campbell was right beside me (oh, I probably wouldn't have arranged the kids like this but I didn't really have time to think things through)  She did very good and tried to help with Whitman some.  My Whitman quickly became tired of sitting down and since you can't reason with a one year old.  He did sit in my lap some but also walked around a bit which was completely fine.
  • Keaton was between her two big sisters and she tried to sit still but she is 2.  She had the cutest little grin on her face when she waved at Dana who was behind the cameras.  Reagan was sitting by Keaton and helped her keep her dress down and was so motherly with her little sister.  My Reagan probably enjoyed her tv appearance a bit too much-diva!  She was sitting perfectly and even answered well when the host asked her something similar to "how do you feel about having all of these brothers and sisters? I bet you love them all."  Reagan quickly answered "some of them."  She also said that her favorite trips were Disney World and Disneyland.  (The kids are pressing Robby hard to get us there sooner rather than later.)
  • And now to me-I didn't make a fool of myself so that is a good thing.  I really don't know what I said at all-I was trying to take in being in a tv studio, hold Whitman, watch Keaton and Campbell out of the corner of my eye and make sure that I made some sense while speaking.  My biggest fears was that we were going to end up on a comedy reel full of local news clips-thankfully that didn't happen.  
  • After our segment was over, we filed out of the studio and collectively breathed a sigh of relief!  I believe that my kids knew the importance of what we did this morning and it stressed them out.  Because once we arrived back home, they were horrible! (not all of them-just most of them)
  • Every day the kids write a bit in their summer journal and Graham always does this without complaint.  But today it led to a screaming fit that lasted for 30 minutes.  He did come down and apologized and finished his tasks but was a bit off for the rest of the day.  My Whitman was just a bit too clingy this afternoon and Campbell completely fell apart when she lost a game of Rock, Paper, Scissors (or course you are going to lose when you pick scissors every single time-the other kids catch on to things like that really, really quickly!)
  • Before Campbell's meltdown, she was on the phone with Nonna and Campbell straight up asked Nonna to bring lunch over.  It was already noon but Nonna said that they could so we started on our chores early while we waited on lunch to arrive.  (I was going to make lunch but who passes up a pre-made lunch)
  • To celebrate, Nonna and Pops brought Happy Meals for the kids-I don't even know when the kids had eaten Happy Meals last.  And some of the little people didn't even know that there were toys inside-it was a truly a great lunch-one that I probably can not top tomorrow or the next day!
  • The kids enjoyed eating with Nonna and Pops and they were thrilled to watch their tv appearance one more time with Nonna and Pops.  When the little kids went down for naps, the big ones watched tv while I did my treadmill.  I guess the treadmill was the last thing for me to do because Keaton was awake before I finished.  Campbell came to tell me so I had to go and get Keaton and when I was downstairs, I heard that Whitman was awake too so my run was cut short (that was fine because I was already pretty tired.)
  • Before too long, it was time for supper followed by a quick meeting at church.  The kids had to sit through the meeting and Whitman talked more than the speaker.  He was just jabbering away-I actually had to keep shoving milk, toys, food, anything into his mouth to keep him quiet for a few seconds.  
  • After the meeting, we took the kids to sonic (not to play) but to have milkshakes.  Having milkshakes was a really special treat-Anderson was the only one to finish his milkshake (along with Skinny (I mean Robby) and me)  Skinny won't be skinny to much longer if we keep running to Sonic-but today was our last shake run for awhile.  
  • Once at home, we put on pjs, brushed teeth, read our Bible story and headed to bed.  Just a minute ago, I went upstairs for Anderson to do his breather and Campbell and Graham were already asleep-it has been a big, big day!

May 27, 2014

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Awards Ceremony for Campbell's Pre-K Class

  • Today was award day for Campbell so the kids and I scrambled out the door early this morning to go and see her receive her award...speaking of scrambled, Robby even made scrambled eggs for them to fill their little tummies before our long day.
  • We truly did rush out the door but made it to school in plenty of time.  Us Dennies are early or late so we do rush around a lot only to end up being early-I do like it that way though.  Campbell's class and all of the other classes sang their morning songs, said the pledge and then Campbell's class received their certificates.  My Campbell was adorable and just grinned when Ms. Hannah handed out her certificate.  The other kids all sat around the stroller and it seemed like they were just as proud of Campbell as I was.
  • Then we went back to her room where Ms. Hannah gave all of the kids a book with pictures of themselves.  I wasn't really sure if I was supposed to leave Campbell or take her with me and I think that some kids did leave but Adalyn was staying so I left Campbell and the rest of us walked to the other side of the church house.
  • We found a cozy spot, sat down and started doing our memory work and reading some of Little House in the Big Woods.  My goal is to get through 6 of those Little House books before we go on our trip-that would mean 30 pages of reading each day (our book is written like Bible pages with 2 columns so that is just probably not going to happen-we will do our best though)
  • After we finished our work, I pulled out the kids bathing suits and they were stunned that we were going swimming.  I had been thinking all morning that it was going to rain on us (like the weather had said) but we were able to pick Campbell up early and then meet the Kamps at the pool.  
  • The crowd was much different at the pool than it was yesterday-we were easily able to find a seats for the whole crew.  My Whitman again sat in his stroller and watched for the first kid swim and then he played happily for the second kid swim.  We had lunch and the kids swam and swam-now today was also a bit colder than yesterday so often at least one child was shivering.  When we started pulling out lunch, the kids came even before we asked.  At first I thought they were hungry but they were really just cold.
  • At 1, we headed to the car and Robby even showed up and helped us load up the car.  And it was a good thing that he was there because he was able to open the popsicles that he packed in our ice chest for the kids to eat.  After we were all loaded up, we headed home for showers.  
  • My Keaton and Whitman were sound asleep so I moved them to their beds and they missed showers.  The others were not so lucky-they had showers and then we read some before I let them watch their movies.  I did a few chores and even had some treadmill time before it was wake up time for the little ones.
  • Robby came in with supper and we all ate and then Keaton and Campbell "helped" me clean my school desk.  When I had cleaned my desk and then picked up all of their "help," it was time for a movie-we watched a movie about Lot and Abraham before bed.  
  • Then it was to bed for my kiddos-we will be on Good Morning Arkansas in the morning....Robby went to get me a Sonic shake thinking it might calm my nerves for the morning.  I am not usually that fluent of a person so hopefully I will make sense!  I might need something a bit stronger than a milkshake!  :)

May 26, 2014

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Paying our respects on Memorial Day

  • Yesterday, I said that I kind of missed my morning cuddle time with the kids and then this morning they all stayed with me (because Robby was still in bed too) and I was able to snuggle away with the kiddos-and now I have had my fill.  Maybe tomorrow they will go to the bonus room again! (kidding-kind of)
  • The kids were beyond excited today because it was pool day!  They had asked us about a zillion times exactly when we would be leaving.  And it was killing them that Robby and then I did our treadmill time before we left.  And to make it even worse, we told them that we had an errand to run before the pool.  To make sure that they understood that this "errand" would not be one like the jump place last week, we added that it was an "educational errand."  They had no idea what this was but knew they probably wouldn't enjoy it (they did though)
  • After leaving our house, we headed downtown to the National Cemetery.  On the way, Robby had printed out Memorial Day word searches for the kids.  As they looked for words, Robby talked about the relevance of the words to Memorial Day and then he explained a bit about the holiday.  I learned that when it was started during the Civil War, it was called Decoration Day.
  • The kids were pretty in awe of all of the graves at the cemetery.  We got out and walked around for a bit and tried to explain the importance of where we were.  After a bit, we loaded back up and headed out...except the little road we headed out on was a dead end.  Ever tried to make a u turn on a narrow road surrounded by headstones?  Robby has-we would inch up and then inch back and even though I hopped out of the car to help, we were both a bit tense praying that we would not roll over a few grave sites on this Memorial Day!
  • Much to the kids delight, we finally turned around and were on our way to the pool.  Grannymom, Grandpa, Dana, Lilly and Cash were already there and they had us chairs in the shade so that was wonderful.  It was crowded, crowded today as expected.  The kids all swam and swam-it came back to all of the 3 big kids though they aren't as fish-like as they were last year.  And since it was cold, Campbell never was in the deep end without her floatees since we weren't in it with her.  Keaton enjoyed the shallow end of the pool and even went down the slide once.  Lilly caught her but when it was time to go down the slide again, she chickened out.
  • Now my Whitman-we kept him in the stroller as long as we could but finally, we had to let him out.  He LOVED the water-he is my child that we just leave in the shower as we rotate child after child in there with him.  He splashed, walked, sat, crawled and even ran through the shallow end.  I can't wait to take him in his floatee in the deep end-but it has to warm up quite a bit for that to happen.
  • The pool had a cookout today and there was enormous amounts of food.  We were way in the back of the line and there was plenty of food-hot dogs, chips, lots of dips (my favorite), drinks and plenty of desserts.  The kids were in heaven and I do kind of wish that we had lunch there everyday.  
  • We stayed long enough that the kids didn't even complain when it was time to come home.  Might have been because we did mention that it was Sonic happy hour so everyone was looking forward to their slush.  Once at home, I thought we might just come in and have a restful evening-nope, everyone went outside.
  • I did stay in and work for quite awhile but the kids played hard outside while Robby worked on cleaning more of the lot behind us.  He has been mowing the bit behind us but now has decided that he doesn't like seeing the bottom part growing up, so he has started working on cleaning that up.  Whoever finally buys that lot, will have a great yard to park their rusted out pick up and throw their junk!
  • After a family (and a few neighborhood kids) game of kickball, we came in for showers and supper. Our pizzas cooked as we finished up our showers and then we watched a video about Abraham.  We are using the church's rightnow media and goodness, there is some really great stuff on there.  And tonight as Robby read the kids the Bible story, he told them that tomorrow someone is going to turn into a pillar of salt.  They can not wait to find out who that happens to!  As Robby was putting up the Bible book, Graham said "give me that Bible"-love hearing words like that.

May 25, 2014

Feeding the Need!
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  • I set my alarm these days so I can hit snooze again and again these days. Keaton, Graham and Campbell all ran into my room and Anderson was right behind them. They all gave me a hug and Keaton even laid with me for a minute and then they all ran upstairs to watch Robby.  I kind of miss my snuggle time with the kids but I kind of like those last few quiet minutes in bed.  I then showered and soon we started our scramble to get everyone ready.
  • Robby passed out breakfast and after the kids ate, they quickly put on their clothes so they could have time to play their kindles.  We made it to church in time to see all of the grands-though the boys were bummed that they didn't see the candy men for their candy fix before church but they did survive.
  • We dropped off Keaton and Whitman in their classes.  Whitman's teachers said that he was the perfect child-I would agree.  Since Sunday school teachers were in big church, we decided to let Campbell go to big church with us.  She sat on the end of the pew beside Robby and did very well (I guess, it was hard to really see her from my spot).  She didn't fall out of the pew in to the aisle so I do count that as big church success.
  • The kids had gathered money last night to buy groceries for Feed the Need.  We had a hard time trying to explain to them that bringing 2 dollars apiece was enough.  My Anderson would empty his bank every time we take money some place (like the ballgame we went to benefit the tornado folks.) You can't really tell them to not give their money when it is a good cause yet they do need to understand that they do have to keep enough money to take care of themselves (though they don't have to worry about that now)  We did let them bring a bit more than 2 dollars apiece and when we added their money with Pops' cash he gave for us to spend plus money from their Daddy-they were so excited about going shopping.
  • This was our first year for Feed the Need and it was quite fun.  When we walked to the veggie aisle, there was a roar of church people talking and visiting.  We finally made it down the aisle and filled the buggy with items-crackers, peanut butter, cereal, veggies, beans, mac and cheese and who knows what else.  The kids were all so excited to put stuff in the buggy-so much so that Keaton had to get out and walk.  
  • After checking out, we went to the trailer to take our bags.  The kids were so pleased with their good deed for the day and we rewarded them with lunch at Nonna and Pops' house.   Pops had grilled hamburgers and hot dogs for us and the kids ate up.  Nonna had even made salted caramel brownies and they were delicious.
  • After the kids had time to play, we headed home for nap time.  Robby and I even slept some before Robby decided to go outside to mow.  It was well after 5 but everyone followed him out.  The kids played quite a bit and I even joined them in a massive soccer game.  Robby suggested that I was the activity director for the neighborhood-actually, I just have to stay nearby to make sure the neighborhood influence is minimal on my kids.  
  • Whitman did so enjoy bubbles tonight.  I tried to take pictures of his wide eyes gazing at the bubbles but I couldn't blow and snap pictures at the same time.  Around 8, we headed in for showers and then supper.  I sent Campbell and Keaton to bring in milk from the garage and they came back empty handed-which meant, Robby quickly left to buy some for tomorrow.  
  • While he was gone, we finished supper and then kids had ice cream truck while I made cookies for tomorrow.  We were brushing teeth when Robby came back and just as he was walking in the door, Graham said "lost tooth in here."  His wiggly tooth finally came out-I had just brushed his teeth really, really well but thought I stayed away from that tooth (guess I didn't)  
  • Graham was so pleased with his first lost tooth and couldn't wait to put his tooth in the tooth fairy pillow-that boy will probably stay up all night trying to peek at the tooth fairy.  She better be sneaky tonight.

May 24, 2014

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Mathews Family Reunion in Ratcliff, AR

  • Robby and I were both up before the kids.  He did wake Whitman up so he could get a shower and put his pajamas in the morning wash because his pjs have been soaking wet every morning lately-but of course after waking the poor guy up, his pjs were dry!  He still joined me in the shower for a bit and contently played.
  • Then it was time to wake up the others-they all made it downstairs with their clothes on and soon we were eating breakfast.  Robby and I still had many odds and ends to finish putting in the car-Whitman's seat, ice chest, clothes, camera-the poor kids usually sit in the car waiting for us at least 10 minutes each time we leave the house.  Now part of that is my fault since I usually use the time that they are all buckled in their seats to use the restroom-it is so nice to use the restroom in peace occasionally!
  • We zoomed right over to Nonna's house to pick up my Graham.  He had a big evening last night-playing games at Chuck E Cheese, going to Jason's house and then to IHOP for supper.  He picked what he did and chose the exact same thing as his brother did last time.  Graham was excited to tell us all about his night out and I do think that he remembered every single detail and told us about it.
  • Next up, we picked Grannymom and Grandpa up and then we made our way to Ratcliff.  The kids watched Frozen and this will perpetuate Campbell and Reagan's singing of Let It Go.  We have only really seen it once so they know few of the words but have just heard what seems to be everyone singing it.  The other night, they continued to sing and sing and sing the only words that they know "Let it go, let it go, let it go, let it go" over and over until Robby and I were just about to go absolutely insane.
  • When the movie was over, it was time to stop in Ozark to potty and then we drove around some looking at Robby's grandparents' houses.  At one house, the house that Grannymom was born in, we got out of the car.  I believe that cows had been staying in the pen nearby and it was quite smelly (bad enough that Whitman even complained with a squnched up face)  Grannymom said that she had never smelled the smell that badly but this will be all that the kids remember from the day-the horrible smell at Grannymom's old house.  
  • Then we stopped for lunch at the church with all of the rest of Grannymom's family.  There was quite a crew there and more bbq than I had ever seen.  The kids were in awe of all of the desserts that people brought.  We ate and then really ate desserts-my Reagan can put away BBQ and Anderson just about ate a whole peanut butter/chocolate pie by himself.  
  • The kids enjoyed walking around the outside of the church house.  We even went to the edge of the field out back and watched cows grazing and man, it was beautiful out there.  After a while, it was time for us to load up and head home.  On the trip home this time, the kids played their kindles some and then we put in Jurassic Park 3.   Grannymom and I didn't really watch Frozen but we could hardly keep our eyes off of that Jurassic Park movie-people were getting eating by dinosaurs left and right.  Hmm, hope all of the kids sleep well and don't have bad dreams!
  • We did stop at Dairy Queen on the way home for a treat-a pecan cluster blizzard for the big people and cones for the little ones.  The lady actually gave all of the kids their cones for free-we are going back there!
  • When we made it home, we left the kids at Grannymom's house for a few minutes and we ran to Target.  I bought a few shirts and Robby bought a much needed bathing suit-he didn't think it was wise to wear the bathing suit that he wore last year (40 pounds ago) for fear that he might lose his suit and then we would be kicked out of the pool!
  • Once at home, everyone had showers and then we had our what used to be weekly, but has turned into monthly, mexican food for supper.  We took that opportunity to discuss pool rules with the kids-um, I am sure that they will not remember any of it but at least we tried!  
  • Then everyone helped clean up the kitchen, gathered money for tomorrow's Feed the Need and then we watched a Bible story on tv.  All of the kids wanted blankets to cover up with tonight-the end of May and they wanted blankets (though I now have one over my legs)  After our show, it was bedtime for my road trippin' Dennies.

May 23, 2014

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Today, all the Dennie kids adventured to Altitude Trampoline!

  • Friday morning here and things moved pretty slow.  We did manage to make some chocolate chip muffins for breakfast-Reagan had asked me last time if we could make muffins on her easy bake oven so I had to let her this time.  We just made one batch on that since we would have still been cooking muffins tonight if we only used that for our breakfast.
  • Robby disappeared for awhile this morning and came back in all sweaty and said that he needed my help with something.  I had no idea what he was doing but quickly realized when I followed him outside that he was working on cleaning out the car.  My car and all of the car seats seems to quickly get filthy.  By the time that Robby was finished, everyone was ready and we headed out for our "errands" that we told the kids we were going to run.
  • Robby had told the kids that we would go bowling once he reached a certain weight.  He is now below that weight so it was time to claim their reward but we decided that jumping at Altitude before school was our would be the best idea (we will go bowling later in the summer).  We didn't tell the kids because we wanted to make sure that it wasn't too crowded today and when it wasn't crowded we pulled into the parking lot.
  • As we pulled in, we started listening to the kids and waiting for someone to notice where we were.  We were out of the car before they finally realized where we were.  Graham was so looking forward to spending the night with Nonna that he was really dreading our "errands" so Robby did offer to run him over to Nonna's house if he didn't want to jump-ha!  They were all so excited and could hardly stand still while waiting in the line.
  • Robby even jumped with the kids and they all had a wonderful time.  My Keaton held her own and was a hoot to watch jumping into the foam pit.  She would jump, jump, jump and then easily let herself down into the foam.  I had Whitman duty so I didn't jump but I really, really wanted to jump in that foam pit-so I had Robby jump into it for me.  He said that it wasn't that wonderful.
  • As the kids ran off to play, Anderson took Campbell by the hand and said "I will show you around."  How sweet is that child?  We stayed there for what seemed like hours and then headed to Nonna's house.  I worked on sorting clothes while Robby worked on Pops' phone and the kids ate their Arby's that we had picked up.
  • After playing a long while, we headed home without our Graham.  He could not wait to see us drive off!  Once at home, Whitman tried to take a nap but soon was up.  And after a few movies, we kicked everyone out so we could straighten the garage some.  
  • It wasn't that hot so we were able to stay out for a while.  The kids played everything imaginable outside-even Whitman who enjoyed holding a water gun walking around just like the big kids.  Eventually, we had to bring everyone inside for a good scrub down and then supper.  
  • Oh, yes, while we were outside, I tried again to make my bread-another fail.  It taste good but didn't really rise that much when it was baking.  It rose the first time I let it rise, then I punched it down like it said and let it rose more and it did.  But then when I baked it, it didn't grow at all-oh, well I just may not be a baker.  I will try one more time yet this bread is still very good and the kids kept asking me for more even after we had eaten our supper.

May 22, 2014

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Field Day at Dennieland!

  • The kids were up early this morning and went right to the toy room-not to play but to clean.  Some of them had remembered what Robby had told them to do this morning.  Today was Field Day at the house and even though everyone would spend the day outside, we still wanted the house to be clean (and really, isn't it so nice when the house is clean?)
  • We rushed around this morning and Robby was out mowing way before the kids had started breakfast and as soon as they finished, I gave everyone a speech about what was expected for the next little bit and then I ran out the door to go and get my hair cut.  Yes, I normally wouldn't have scheduled an appointment for the morning of Field Day but next week, it looks like this Dennie crew will be on Good Morning Arkansas and I needed my hair cut before all of that!
  • I made it home to find all of the children dressed, all of the chores done, the school work accomplished, the house straight and the baby happy.  Robby hadn't been inside for very long and was still taking his shower so the kids had done all of this by themselves-maybe I should leave more often.
  • Soon our friends started arriving for Field Day (we had kept Campbell home from school so she could enjoy a full day of Field Day).  The Kamps, Powells, Stotts and Heltz were all there and this provided my kids with tons of buddies to play with.  The first game was throwing the circle noodle around the cones and then throwing them around the cones that Jodee and I had on our heads.  Then we threw footballs and pool noodles through hula hoops that were hanging between the trees.
  • Next up was the most anticipated game ever-doughnuts on the string!  I didn't get many pictures on this one because I was helping hold the string.  But I have never seen small children put a whole doughnut in their mouth like I did today!  Then the kids had a bit of free time before we had lunch.
  • Robby grilled hot dogs for everyone and we had chips, fruit and punch.  The weather was warm today but in the shade it was pleasant out and not incredible hot.  After the kids ate, they incessantly came to ask us about the water balloons.  We (the adults) continued our eating and chatting and stalled as long as we could.
  • And then it was time for the egg relay followed by the egg toss.  The big kids knew how to do it and did perfectly.  I don't remember who won because I was too busy watching Lily and Keaton.  They tossed those eggs back and forth and back and forth never moving more than 6 inches from each other.  As the other kids continued to step back and drop their eggs, Keaton and Lily were still tossing the eggs to each other until they were the very last ones playing.  I think they were both so proud of themselves.  
  • The water balloon toss and then the water balloon smash on your friend event.  Poor Sara had probably spent forever filling and tying those balloons and then they lasted for about 3 minutes.  Our last games were filling up the bucket with water only using cups with holes in it and then doing the same thing with squeezing water from a sponge.  
  • And some where during the day, we had tug of war.  The many girls easily beat the boys and then it was the adults vs. the kids.  Usually, we (the adults) try our hardest and yank and pull and end up with rope burn but this time, we just gradually let the kids down while watching them all fall on top of each other-that was more fun than the satisfaction of winning.
  • Some of our crew went home then but the rest of the crew had dessert (cookie bars and popsicles) before going on a trailer ride.  After the ride, everyone headed home and we stayed outside for a bit longer.  Eventually, we picked up and went in for showers.  
  • After our showers the kids napped and watched tv until time for us to leave.  Joie and her boys asked us back to Sonic and since it was 50 cent corn dog night, how could we say no!  The playground was full this week-last week it was rainy and cold but this week was perfect.  The kids played and played on the playground and sand.  We even let them play until 8-no, not because we are good like that but because that is when half price shakes start.  
  • As we were driving around to get our shake (salted caramel-yummy) we saw Nonna and Pops getting their nightly shake fix.  And then it was home again for showers-the kids second shower of the day and Robby ended up taking his 4th shower of the day (goodness, no wonder our summer water bills are always higher!)  Very, very good day!

May 21, 2014

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  • Anderson laid down beside me for a while early this morning, Keaton did as well and Graham stayed for a bit and then they all went upstairs...and I laid there in my quiet room debating whether or not to get out of bed.  I chose to not to get out of bed and paid for it by dreaming that I left Whitman on a plane by himself-that type of dream will get you out of bed pretty quickly.
  • I was able to get a few things picked up before Robby finished running and the awake kids came downstairs.  He then actually left before Campbell and Reagan woke up.  When Campbell did wake up, she went upstairs to find her Daddy-and he wasn't there.  She was pretty devastated that she didn't get to tell him bye so we quickly called Robby...and he didn't answer.  He called us back in a few minutes and by that time, I think that she had forgotten even being upset.
  • We had our pancakes and waffles for breakfast and then the kids started on their charts.  The big even this morning was finishing our Pocahontas book.  That means that we are now going to start on the Little House books and hopefully, we will finish those (some of those) before our trip.  And that leaves a Rush book from Nonna to read later this summer-or maybe I will just save it for our history.
  • I did my treadmill time early and let the kids watch a part of an early movie-which ended up causing all kinds of havoc during the rest of the day.  After that it was lunch time and then a few more chores were done before we saw the tree house man.
  • Some of the kids were on their way outside when they did see the tree house man and before I could put on shoes, even Whitman was out the door.  And that boy didn't just walk out of the garage-he ran.  And continued to until he was off of the driveway and in the rocks.  If Anderson would have let him, he would have kept going-he was so excited to get out of the house.  
  • The kids were out longer than the tree house man who was just spray painting for the people to come and check for wires/pipes and all that jazz.  So even later in the day, those people came and that was even more excitement for us country folks.  
  • Outside the kids worked mainly on bringing dirt up to the top of the tree house (I have clearly explained that the new tree house is not allowed to have dirt in it.)  And they did a bit of digging and swinging.  Keaton was swinging on her belly and flopped over the swing (I don't know how she did that) and bit her lip pretty good so it took her a while to calm down.
  • I took Keaton and Campbell in eventually to take showers while the others played kickball.  They had gotten some shower crayons and they used them and then the boys did-I thought I was never, ever going to get them out of the shower floor.  Seriously, I had to scrub for 10 minutes of my shower!
  • It was a pretty calm afternoon and a bit short because the kids had already eaten supper when Robby came home.  Then he let them watch a film from the Bible story they read about last night before we rushed off to church.
  • After church, we were able to finish the Bible story movie and then we had our ice cream truck that they missed on Sunday and then it was bedtime for this Dennie crew-field day is tomorrow!

May 20, 2014

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Soccer Super Stars!

  • The kids are starting to sleep in a bit more each day...or maybe I am (but I wasn't that last to wake up)  The boys both watched tv with Robby as he finished up his run. Campbell had to go to school this morning so everyone waved to see her off-waving would probably more aptly be described as yelling and running up and down the sidewalk-it is such a good thing that we live in the country.
  • Sometime during the morning, I looked at the clock and it said "8:30."  I was pretty convinced that clock had not been changed to the proper time and thought it was really 9:30.  So when I did find out that the clock was right, I was thrilled about what all we had done that early in the morning.  
  • And seriously, the kids are still working hard on their summer charts.  Every day everyone is doing a bit of math, writing in a journal, reading and even doing lots of chores.  It is kind of nice all of the things that we can get done around here when we are not doing real school.  
  • At 11, we all hopped int he car to go and pick up Campbell.  The big 4 had dentist appointments and everyone did very well (we hope, we stayed in the lobby).  I handled Whitman who decided that he didn't want to be in his stroller and Robby entertained Keaton.  Reagan's teeth are the ones that we worry about the most but everyone, including her, got a thumbs up.  And early this morning, Graham came running to me showing that he now has his first loose tooth-he is thrilled!
  • After the dentist, we picked up lunch and ate at Grandpa's house as Robby worked on Grandpa's computer.  The kids devoured their lunch-Mexican and then moved on to eating all of Grandpa's cookies.  They had a few minutes to play and then we all loaded up again.
  • This time we stopped to vote-and vote for Pops' friend, David Sterling.  The kids enjoyed voting and the stickers that were passing out made my Keaton very happy.  I can always remember going to vote with my folks growing up and hope the kids remember going to vote with us.
  • At home, we watched a short film on Noah since they read about his last night.  Then the little folks took a nap and the big folks (Robby and I) took a nap while the in between folks watched a few movies.  
  • Before too long, it was time to hurry around to get ready for the soccer celebration.  We were in the car right at 6 thinking that we were even going to be early for the 6:30 start time.  Not too soon after we left the house, Robby realized that it didn't start at 6:30 but at 6!  Oh, well we were just a bit late and we still saw most of the program.  They had a magician (I think they call them illusionist when they are at a church!)  He was pretty entertaining and the kids were really impressed.
  • After it was over, everyone received trophies and Campbell could not have been more excited!  Then we headed to the watch party.  Downtown was a happening place tonight and parking was no where to be found so we ended up parking at Acxiom and walking.
  • The kids enjoyed the watch party-probably because of the Arkansas shaped sugar cookies and coke.  And the boys were very intrigued with the tv camera-you might have caught the back of my head-I am sure that you would recognize it from my past tv appearances! (ha!)  After Robby and I had eaten our fill of hummus and fancy pizza, we finally decided that we should leave to get the kiddos in to bed.  Nonna, Jason and Hank left when we did and Pops stayed to cheer on his candidate.  
  • Once at home, we found pajamas and then everyone went on to bed-another busy, yet great day!

May 19, 2014

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Wagon ride!
  • With everyone still recovering from a busy weekend - all were fast asleep until 7:45 except for Keaton. She managed to twist Robby's arm so she could sleep in our room again last night when she woke up around 10:15 last night.  She would still been asleep too but Robby decided for some reason to start doing the laundry that was in our bedroom floor (well, maybe he was searching for clean underwear after his run.)
  • Soon everyone was up and Graham was clamoring to do his "mom's choice" chore.  They are all loving the summer activity checklist - one of which is a chore of the day. (I'm sneaky like that.)
  • Breakfast was served, everyone worked on their list and managed to play in the toy room some and probably on their Kindles too.
  •  Then it was lunch (all we do here is eat) and soon Pops was calling.  They had a dish to return but maybe they were just missing seeing their grandkids.  They caught us playing "spoons" and were recruited to play a few games.  The kids had seen the women-folk playing spoons this weekend and were eager to learn how to play.  They caught on pretty good and enjoyed it quite a bit.
  • A few movies and snack in the afternoon while I ran and the babies napped.  Then it was time to scoot everyone outside.  Whitman and Keaton were up by now and all were ready to be outside.  A quick round of kickball and bike riding before Robby got home.  He swapped places with me as I got ready for Bunko.  They swung on the tire swing and played another round of kickball.  Popcicles were needed before everyone could come in for showers.
  • Supper (leftover pizza) and a few cookies and then Graham was ready to teach Robby how to play spoons. He just 'learned' this time and will have to play next time.  Anderson opted to play in the toy room this round.  Whitman went to be around 7;45 and all the big kids watched an episode of Let's Make a Deal.  Before we knew it, it was 8:45 and time for bed!

May 18, 2014

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Medal Winner!

  • My Keaton slept in the floor of our room last night and around 1ish, she sat straight up and started fussing and pointing at our bathroom door.  I got out of bed and laid beside her but it took me forever to get her to stop-she was very upset about something.  I wasn't sure if she was dreaming or not, so I gave her a sip of water.  One drink and then she remembered the coke that she had last night when I gave her some medicine and then that was all that she wanted.  
  • I fell asleep with her and around 5 something, I heard Robby's alarm and thought that it was mine.  I never really moved from my spot on the floor but did start apologizing about my alarm.  Finally, I woke up enough to get back into bed and realize that it wasn't my alarm-Robby probably just thought that I was saying that I was sorry that he had to get up and run.
  • And speaking of running, Robby has had lots of folks comment on his weight loss and yep, he is getting to be a skinny little fellow-running 10 miles a day can do that to you.  Tonight on the way home, he commented that people are commenting him on his weight loss but no one ever comes up to you and says "hey fatty, noticed you have been gaining some weight."  So this is your notice, if you ever feel the need to say that to Robby, he will thank you for your honesty.  If you say it to me, you better duck and then run fast.
  • The kids had enough time to eat breakfast upstairs and watch the rest of a red box movie before church.  That gave me some time to empty the dishwasher and marvel at all of the loads of laundry that we have done since Friday.  Yes, I said "marvel"-not fold, I was too overwhelmed to fold them.  My plan is that we will just wear them so I don't have to fold them.
  • Church was fine-Graham did fall asleep (shh, but I think his dad may have too-he denies it though)  After church, Robby picked everyone up and briefly lost Campbell.  But he quickly found her and all was well-not like the time that we really did lose her at church.  I asked her about that today and she remembered exactly what happened-I guess if you are to lose the kids, it is best to do that at church and not somewhere else.  
  • We had lunch at Grannymom's house and then the kids went out to play kickball before we left.  My Anderson was so tired that he was near tears by the end of the game.  He thought that Graham wasn't trying his hardest.  Now remember that poor Graham still has his swollen/jammed/broken/whatever finger from the soccer game and could only grab the ball with one hand.  
  • And this from yesterday-Graham and Pops were sitting in the truck talking about his finger and Graham said that he really didn't want his hand to get better.  Pops asked why and Graham said that he wouldn't have to do his school work with a messed up hand.  That would have been a great idea except that we are finished with school and Graham hurt his right hand and is left handed.
  • This afternoon Reagan and Anderson were treated to the trampoline place because they had memorized all of their hymns from choir.  There were quite a few folks there and the kids had a blast.  Anderson was pleased to show Reagan around and as soon as the man put the wristbands on their hands, they ran off.  It took me forever to find them so I could at least take a picture of them.  
  • The others back at the house, took naps (Whitman, Keaton and even Campbell during the movie) and watched movies.  They were all getting ready when we flew in from trampolining.  I had my 2 big ones quickly take a shower and then we were off back to church.
  • We were a bit late, so Robby and the 3 big kids went into the church house while I unloaded the other 3 and took them to class.  Now Whitman was sickly so I was just going to stay out in the hallway with him.  Keaton was the first to drop off and even though we had been talking about going to class and even though she loves Ms. Patricia, she still threw a huge fit when it was time to go to class.  And my Campbell didn't have a class-she could have gone into one class but it was the class she was in last year and told me that she didn't want to go in the baby class, so I just let her stay in the hallway with me and Whitman.
  • We walked around and I was busy chatting away when I looked up and saw Campbell peeking into the sanctuary.  They were just praying and singing away in there but priss had her head sticking in the door.  I got on to her (I thought it was enough that she wouldn't do it again) and continued on along our walk.  I stopped to talk again and there was Robby's daughter peeking in the sanctuary doors again.  I then debated leaving that child at the church house for the week to see if someone up there could straighten her out!  She just keeps up on our toes.
  • When church was out, we had ourselves supper at Ms. Susie's retirement party.  The whole fam was there so the kids enjoyed seeing everyone and after their tummies were full, it was time to head home.  I had everyone find their pjs from that clean laundry pile and then to bed we went.  We read our Bible story and the kids had a zillion questions and comments-I think they might have been stalling so their bedtime would be a bit later!

May 17, 2014

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Final soccer game of the season...

  • What a busy day this was!...and I really think that Robby and I thrive on busy-ness.  We like scrambling around from activity to activity (for a day or two and then we need to slow down...unfortunately, it doesn't look like next week is going to be any slower though.
  • Today was the last soccer games of the season and the kids were ready in no time.  And you would think that without Whitman here (who spent the night at Grannymom's house) we would have been able to get to the soccer game early or at least on time but this was the latest that we have been to the game.  Good thing this is the last one or would be start missing the first one!
  • Graham and Campbell played first.  The other team did beat them but they played their hardest.  Anderson asked why we all hollered every time that Campbell kicked the ball-and it was true, every time that Campbell kicked the ball, our little cheering section would scream and yell for her.  I think we were all so proud of her effort out on that soccer field.  Today when Campbell and I were walking to the bathroom, she said "I wish I would have scored today."  I did my "have fun, try hard, yada, yada speech" but man, I really wished she could have scored too.
  • Now my poor Graham, always plays his hardest and is really into the game.  Today though, when he was running with the ball he got knocked down (by his own teammate-but that is another story).  He started screaming as soon as he fell-poor guy is not the toughest at home but on the soccer field he has been pretty tough.  So when he was crying and screaming, I knew he was really hurt.  One dad went to go and get ice for him, the head of our upward came to check on him and actually I am surprised that no one called the paramedics.  I tried my hardest to quickly get him back on the field and he did go the next quarter but he was still gingerly holding his little pinky finger.  (It is now swollen, but he can move it.  He has soaked it in epsom salt and is using it a bit.)
  • Next was Anderson's game.  Some times I think that he is in a bit of a fog-he didn't really run his hardest today but despite that, he still did excellent.  He didn't score much this season but he really enjoys soccer and he had the best little team this year.  Having a good team really makes things fun.
  • Then there was Reagan's team-last year her team was a losing team but this year it was a winning team.  And really, it is good to be on a winning team.  She scored 2 goals today and if she was a bit faster, I think she might just dominate.   But she had a great time playing soccer and is already thinking about next year.
  • Anderson and Keaton went home with Grannymom-they had lunch from Wendys, probably played kickball and they did take a 2 mile walk with Cash's dog.  Meanwhile, we picked up the kids lunch from Wendys and then Robby and I ate at Panera.  Jason was even there so we visited with him while we ate.  Then it was a quick trip to Walmart.
  • Then we came home and Robby worked in the yard while I worked in the house.  The kids watched a red box movie while Whitman slept.  Around 5, I had finished the house and Robby finished the yard so everyone showered off.  Then Robby picked up the kids and the pizza and all were back home before our company arrived.
  • The Phillips, Atwoods and Wilsons all came over and this meant lots of older playmates for the kids which they adored.  The women folk played a card game while the men folk talked about crime, politics, travel and fires!  And we did a lot of eating-pizza, cookies, more desserts and cheese dip.  
  • The kids had a blast and could have played forever but when everyone left, it was late and my crew was tired.  It was nearly 11 when we finally tucked the big 4 into bed (Keaton was exhausted when she came home from Grannymom's house so she went to sleep quickly and Whitman went to bed around his normal bedtime and slept right through all of our noise.)
  • We did have some of the kids shower before going to bed and the rest will have to shower in the  morning and Graham reminded Robby to read the Bible story before bed so he gladly did that and then it was lights out.